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Title: Future projection of mean and variability of the Asian Summer Monsoon and Indian Ocean Climate systems

The overall goal of this project is to assess the ability of the CMIP3/5 models to simulate the Indian-Ocean monsoon systems. The PI along with post-docs investigated research issues ranging from synoptic systems to long-term trends over the Asian monsoon region. The PI applied diagnostic tools such as moist static energy (MSE) to isolate: the moist and radiative processes responsible for extended monsoon breaks over South Asia, precursors in the ENSO-monsoon association, reasons for the drying tendency over South Asia and the possible effect on tropical Indian Ocean climate anomalies influencing certain aspects of ENSO characteristics. By diagnosing various observations and coupled model simulations, we developed working hypothesis and tested them by carrying out sensitivity experiments with both linear and nonlinear models. Possible physical and dynamical reasons for model sensitivities were deduced. On the teleconnection front, the ability of CMIP5 models in representing the monsoon-desert mechanism was examined recently. Further more, we have applied a suite of diagnostics and have performed an in depth analysis on CMIP5 integrations to isolate the possible reasons for the ENSO-monsoon linkage or lack thereof. The PI has collaborated with Dr. K.R. Sperber of PCMDI and other CLIVAR Asian-Australian monsoon panel members in understanding themore » ability of CMIP3/5 models in capturing monsoon and its spectrum of variability. The objective and process-based diagnostics aided in selecting models that best represent the present-day monsoon and its variability that are then employed for future projections. Two major highlights were an invitation to write a review on present understanding monsoons in a changing climate in Nature Climate Change, and identification of an east-west shift in observed monsoon rainfall (more rainfall over tropical western Pacific and drying tendency over South Asia) in the last six decades and attributing that shift to SST rise over the tropical western Pacific. On the training of post-doctoral scientists: the PI spent considerable amount of time and efforts in introducing the post-docs into climate modeling and designing the numerical experiments. With training provided and knowledge gained, post-docs worked in the project obtained long term positions elsewhere. The PI also enjoyed the experience in managing the works and educating work ethics to the younger generation. Based on the research achievements and publications, the PI gave invited talks in major international monsoon conferences/workshops, and gave lectures in various research organizations in the last six years. Finally, during the project period, the PI attended all the DOE organized PIs meeting and presented the major results. Some of the major implications of the project include: (i) Sustained observational efforts are necessary to monitor the three-dimensional moisture distribution over the Asian monsoon region that would aid in better understanding, modeling and predicting severe monsoons well in advance and (ii) process-based diagnostics lead pathways for model improvements.« less
  1. IPRC, University of Hawaii
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University of Hawaii
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Contributing Orgs:
International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Asian monsoon, Indian Ocean, ENSO-monsoon, Extended breaks, Drying tendency